| Psychology By Design |
Just One Signature Hole?
No- All Golf Courses Have Eight!
In 2011 Sport Psychology Ltd (SPL) delivered a global golf study of all the world’s leading golf course architects and golf course experts. It looked at the psychological principles that make a golf course great. SPL then reviewed a large number of golf venues and the players that used those facilities to verify the accuracy of the expert opinion.
It was not surprising to our psychologists that the golfers studied could not, easily, remember each and every hole on a course (that they had not played previously). In fact, after playing a new course, the average player could only accurately recall eight of the eighteen holes even when they had just completed play. This finding is completely in line with all the neuroscience on human memory and recall that indicates that 8 chunks is as much new information that the typical person can remember when it has just been presented to them. SPL defines these in our Golf Experience Psychometric Profiler (GEPP) as the ‘Magic 8’ and has developed specific methodologies to enable all golf courses to specifically identify which are the Magic 8 for their course- sometimes they are not always the most obvious ones when you have a very detailed memory of the whole course due to years of learning. In fact staff who are intimately familiar with the course often fail to recognise the holes that have the most impact on the memories of new visitors. However classic psychology does reinforce the importance of primacy and recency effect so the 1st and the 18th are constants in the Magic 8 for all courses.
SPL would advise all venues that these 8 holes are key to the emotional memory that any visiting golfer will take away from that venue. Get these holes right and the clients will always leave with a positive impression no matter what the other 10 were like. In cash strapped times knowing what these holes are and focussing limited resources on them can ensure that the visitor always has a positive feeling. That’s when they will become your ambassadors and communicate that feeling to all that they meet in the future. Never forget that the experience is all about the emotion….. and